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Home » Festivals in Kerala

Festivals in Kerala



Men performing chenda melam the typical music of a Keralan festivalAttachamayam :
The festival of Attachamayam is held on the Atham day of the Malayalam month of Chingam (August/ September), at the historical town of Tripunithura, near Kochi. It is a celebration of a legendary victory of the Raja of Kochi.

Pomp and colour mark the pageantry, which is replete with caparisoned elephants, varieties of folk art forms, floats and musical ensemble. This spectacular procession marks the beginning of the Onam Festival.


Jaggannath Festival :
Jagannatha Festival is a colourful eight-day festival, which is held in the Malayalam month of Kumbham (February/ March) at the Jagannatha Temple at Madathiparambu, near Thalassery in Kannur.

The idol of Lord Siva, the presiding deity was installed here by the famous social reformer and philosopher, Sree Narayana Guru on 13th February, 1908. The seventh day of the festival is the most auspicious.

The event highlights religious conferences participated by eminent scholars and social reformers, elephant processions, fireworks display and cultural programmes.


Malabar Mahotsavam :
Malabar Mahotsavam is a cultural extravaganza that showcases the centuries old rich cultural heritage of Kerala. The event is at Mananchira maidan (ground) in the heart of Kozhikode town from 13th to 16th January every year.

The festival highlights musical concerts, performances of various classical dances like Kathakali, Mohiniyattom, Ottanthullal etc and ritual artforms like Koothu, Thewam, Thira etc.

The festival is also an occasion to relish the native cuisines and enjoy mind blowing firework displays.


Muharram :
Muharram is the opening month of the Hijra year. The 10th day of this month (May) is honoured by the Muslims of Kerala. As per belief, it was on this day that the Imam Hussain, the grandson of Prophet Mohammed, and his men were slain at Karbala.

It is to bemoan the martyrdom of the Imam that the Muslims observe Muharram. Fasting is an important ritual of this day.


Swathi festival :
Swathi festival is a gala event of music organised by the Government of Kerala every year in the last week of January.

The venue is the famous Kuthiramalika Palace. Thiruvananthapuram, where once upon a time the great poet-king of Travancore, Sri Swathi Thirunal, composed many of his verses.

An august gathering of great maestros from all over the country celebrate Indian classical music in all its variety and grandeur.


Indira Gandhi Boat Race :
Indira Gandhi Boat Race is a grand fest on the rolling backwaters of Kochi. Conducted in the last week of December, it is a fitting finale to the Tourism Fair, which attracts travellers from all parts of the globe.

The sixteen majestic snake boats racing neck to neck in gaiety and competition to the sky-rending cheers of the multitudes, is a unique sight. The coveted trophy of the race was instituted in memory of Indira Gandhi, the late Prime Minister of India.


Jewish Festival :
The Jews of Kerala are believed to have migrated to this place in the first century following the destruction of the second temple of Jerusalem in 72 AD.

The Jewish community in Kerala settled mainly in and around Mattancherry, Kochi. The Passover Festival to commemorate the liberation of Jews from Egyptian slavery is celebrated in April/ May every year.

The Pentecost Festival follows the Passover, and the feast of the Tabernacles are also observed. The New Year celebration which falls in September/ October and Hanukka, the 'festival of lights', are other popular festivals.


Sabarimala Temple festival :
The Sabarimala Temple festival is celebrated in honour of Lord Ayyapa who is revered by all in India.

Sabarimala is a renowned pilgrim centre atop the rugged hills of the Western Ghats. This holy shrine is dedicated to Lord Ayappa. The main pilgrimage is undertaken between November and January.

There are two main rituals called the Mandal Puja and the Makara Sankranti Puja, which is celebrated from November to mid-January in Keral

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